I Get A Lot Of Dirt In My Swimming Pool ... / I Get A Lot Of Debris In My Swimming Pool ... / We Use Our Swimming Pool A Lot ...

High Dirt, Debris, Bather Loads, ...


     The larger the pool, the more time it takes to "filter" the pool, the more water "surface area" the pool has to collect dust, dirt, pollen, algae spores, … and, thus, the more operation time it takes to filter that many more gallons of water. If the landscaping choices were poor, this makes a bad situation worse.  


         Yes, this is why the equipment should be on during storms, while you are in the pool, ... 


          Running the equipment "When" these things occur,  removes the things that help water turn cloudy and green BEFORE that dirt, sweat, algae spores, ... get the chance to turn your pool into a growing Petri Dish of varied science experiments, or the film set for the remake of the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. (See Proper Equipment Operating Times. (Click HERE!)


    Yes, this is also why Back Washing your filter, and doing it properly, is essential. See your filter Type under "New Pool or Equipment Replacement Recommendations" "Filters".  (Click HERE!)


         Did you know that there are certain types of plant debris that either plug baskets and filters, and prevent filtration from occurring properly, and or, may help destroy chlorine readings? Yes there are.


          In the Phoenix area, certain Palm Trees put out "Pollen Fronds" during a particular time of the year. When this happens, I get a slew of calls about how their pool man is no longer doing his job properly, and that the pool is green and cloudy. I tell them, "Trim those fronds, and have all of the palm debris blown into a pile and removed from your yard, and you will get your great pool man back.


        They are amazed that I have never been in their yard, and yet, I know what kind of trees they have, and that they are "blooming". I always explain that it isn't their pool man's fault (Unless he is also responsible for trimming their palm trees as well,), but that he should know these things to stay on top of his business. If he can tell his customers every year that this is the problem that “Will” occur if they do not trim the fronds RIGHT AFTER THEY COMPLETELY OPEN UP, he will not lose as many accounts. Note: If you have palm trees, "Do Not" cut the "Pods" on the Palm Trees until after they open, otherwise they will not release the hormone that tells the plant to stop growing them. I have had customers who rush the process, and not let them open up, that have had the pods cut off three times before they figured this out. Wait till they open completely, and trim them once. Wait and forget to schedule it done, and within 3 weeks your pool will be in bad shape. Note: If you live elsewhere, you may have other plants that are an issue. Find out which plants plug up your skimmers, baskets, cleaning systems, … and get them trimmed or cut back before they become an issue.


        Other sets of plants that cause big issues in the Phoenix area are:


            1.)  Bougainville (Bad, because the red blooms regularly plug up baskets, drains, ... Yes, these can cause an extra $200-$500 a year in problems for my customers, and could cause you to not be able to swim in your pool for 1/4 or more of your swim season, during the windy parts of the year. I had one that cost the client 1/2 of their swim season, and close to $800 extra in 1 year. Best solution, cut out the bougainvillea. If your neighbor has them, cut them off even with his side of the fence. Anything on your side of the fence is your property.


            2.) Mesquite trees (And other plants with small fern type leaves) These plug up the filters themselves, Sand and D.E., both, and keep them from functioning properly. I have had pools that need a sand change every year, and need their D.E. filters cleaned every 3 months, because of the damage these cause. Best solution ... cut out/down the offending plant. If it is your neighbors plant, cut it off at the edge of the lot line. Remember, as long as you do not kill the plant, anything on your side is yours. Again, "unless" it kills the tree/plant. (Note: Always check local laws to be sure.)


            3.) Anything that overhangs your deck or pool will put debris in your pool. In my service agreements, my customers agree, in writing, to cut back all plants 6" from the edge of the decking, … minimum. This includes trees less than 3’ tall. Trees larger than 3’ must be cut back 1’ for every 5’ of height otherwise, with a light breeze, the debris will blow onto the deck, and into the pool. The taller the tree, the further back from the deck I want it. 


            In case you are wondering, I ALWAYS charge 25% more, AT LEAST, for pool service with pools that have these issues, and either can’t, or won’t correct them. I have charged DOUBLE, or even TRIPPLE, my normal rates for real problem pools with inappropriate, or inadequate cleaning systems, and bad landscaping / plants. If people refuse to deal with the problems their poor equipment and their landscaping issues cause by being unwilling to properly cutting back, or remove, the "problems", then they can keep their green pool, or pay the price it takes for me to overcome the problems and keep their pool in decent shape.


          Sorry, if it is 2-3 times the amount of labor, and chemical costs, for me to keep your pool looking "decent", you are going to pay me 2-3 times the amount paid for pools that do not have these issues. You may think this is harsh, but, if you have gone through 5 pool men in 2 months, spent $200-$300 EXTRA, in chemicals, beyond service costs, "each month, and your pool is still green, paying double, or triple, normal service rates, and having a clean clear pool, is cheap by comparison.


           That said, there is no pool that I would never take on as service. There is always a price. One had (5) 40-60' tall ponderosa pine overhanging the pool edge. After every wind storm, they got a layer of pine needles on their pool that was 8-12" thick over the entire pool, and filled (4) big trash cans with the needles. They paid me $100 an hour, one hour minimum EVERY WIND STORM, plus my regular service rates. If they couldn’t wait because the storm happened after my normal service date and they wanted to swim, they were required to give me 2 days’ notice, and they paid me $150 for the first hour and $100 for every hour thereafter. (They sold their home. The new home owners cut down the trees.)


        There is always a price. I always advise what is going to cost the client least over the time period they are planning on living in the home, and will offer the fewest hassles and problems during that time. I also offer them a price for maintaining the pool if they are unwilling, or unable to make the upgrades to the filter, pump, cleaning system, landscaping, operating times, … if I think we can make it work without hurting my reputation for keeping clean, crystal clear pools. Usually, after they have gone through 4-5 pool men in 2-3 months, people are willing to listen.